RSS ‘Built’ Indore’s COVID Care Facility? No, It’s a False Claim!
RSS’ Vinay Dixit said that while Sangh volunteers are working at the facility, the organisation is not funding it.
Images of the COVID facility in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore are being circulated to claim that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has built the second largest COVID care centre in India that can accommodate 6,000 beds.
However, we found that while a Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) ground has been converted into a COVID facility which has 600 beds and is expected to accommodate 6,000 beds but it hasn’t been built by the RSS.
The RSS workers are working as volunteers at the said facility but it has been built with the help of the state administration, social organisations and industrialists.
Further, some users are using an image of Al Bayt stadium in Qatar to falsely claim that it shows the said Indore facility.
The claim shared along with the set of images mentions: “RSS has built 6,000 bed COVID care centre and 4 oxygen plants in 45 acres of land in Indore.”
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We searched on Google with the help of relevant keywords and came across a Dainik Bhaskar report that mentioned that the Indore district administration had initiated the work to convert Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) ground to a COVID care centre. There was no mention of RSS building the said facility.
Further, we also found an ANI report dated 22 April that mentioned that the said COVID facility known as Maa Ahilya COVID care centre has been made functional with 600 beds and is expected to accommodate 6,000 beds.
State Minister Tulsi Silawat told the news agency that several businessman in Indore had donated money and instruments for the COVID care centre and that various RSS workers have also been volunteering.
Regarding arrangements, a Times of India article mentioned that Radha Soami Satsang Beas workers will be taking care of the food arrangements.
On 15 April, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted that the COVID centre has been made with the help of RSSB, however, there is no mention of RSS building the facility.
‘COVID FACILITY FUNCTIONING WITH HELP OF SEVERAL ORGANISATIONS’
We spoke to Indore’s Additional Collector Rajesh Rathore who told us that the said COVID facility was initiated by Radha Soami Satsang Beas, the administration is helping in operating it and four private Indore hospitals are providing medical aid.
“Indore administration is managing the COVID centre built at Radha Soami Satsang ground. Four private hospitals located in Indore have provided the medical facilities required at the centre. Some volunteers of the RSS are also helping. Several organisations are helping and RSS is one of them. The centre is functioning with the help of several organisations and not by the funding of just one organisation.”Rajesh Rathore, Additional Collector, Indore
We also checked RSSB’s official website and nowhere does it mention that it is associated with the RSS. “It is a non-profit organisation with no affiliation to any political or commercial organisations,” the description mentioned.
‘RSS ISN’T FUNDING THE COVID CENTRE’: RSS’ VIJAY DIXIT
Further, RSS’ Malwa region Prachar Pramukh Vinay Dixit told The Quint’s WebQoof team that while RSS volunteers are working at the COVID facility but the organisation is not funding the same.
“Indore’s COVID centre is operating with the help of administration, social organisations and some businessman. RSS workers are also providing their services to the centre. But, the claim that RSS is funding the COVID centre is not correct.”Vinay Dixit, RSS’ Malwa region Prachar Pramukh
We also spoke to Dr Nishant Khare, member of Madhya Pradesh’s COVID-19 advisory task force who told us that as many as 75 workers from the RSS are working as volunteers at the COVID centre.
“If there is maximum contribution to the COVID care centre from one body, then it is the Radha Soami Satsang Beas. The ownership of the centre is with the Government of Madhya Pradesh. 75 workers of the RSS are also contributing to the centre. Financial assistance is being provided by the citizens, organisations and industrialists as per their personal capacity.”Dr Nishant Khare, member of Madhya Pradesh’s COVID-19 advisory task force
QATAR STADIUM USED TO FALSELY SHOW INDORE FACILITY
Further, some users are using an image from a stadium in Qatar instead of the said facility.
We conducted a reverse image search on the viral image and came across an image available on a website called ‘Qatar2022’ that showed the same structure. The website mentioned that the image is of Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar.
We searched for Al Bayt stadium’s picture on Getty Images and found several similarities between the structure seen in the image uploaded on the website and the viral one.
We further compared the viral image with Al Bayt stadium’s view available on Google Earth and noticed several similar elements in the two.
Al Bayt stadium will be hosting Football World Cup matches in 2022, Al Jazeera reported.
WHAT DOES THE INDORE FACILITY LOOK LIKE?
The Twitter handle of Collector Indore shared the images of the said facility which are very different from the viral image.
An NDTV bulletin also carried the visuals of the said facility.
Evidently, social media users falsely claimed that the RSS has built the COVID care facility in Indore and an image of Qatar’s stadium was circulated to show the said facility.
(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer)
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